Letter to the editor: Vote no on Feb. 11 Edmonds School District bond and levy

Editor:

Over the next few days every householder in the Edmonds School District will receive a ballot for an Edmonds School District bond and levy with ballots due by Feb. 11.  This nearly three-quarter-billion-dollar proposal is an unprecedented number that will result in significant increases to your Snohomish County property tax bill that you will receive next month and for every February for the next six years.

We all want to have a strong school district that meet the needs of our students but enough is enough. This Proposition 1 Bond request ($600M) plus Proposition 2 Technology Levy ($96M) that if passed will make Edmonds and surrounding areas even more unaffordable due to taxes. This proposal is more than double what Edmonds District voters passed in 2014 even though the district student enrollments have increased at less than 1% each year and in 2018 actually decreased.

I urge every homeowner in Edmonds, Lynnwood, Woodway, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, and unincorporated Snohomish County to vote no on these 2 measures when you receive your ballot. The district must be challenged to resubmit a reasonable proposal that meets critical needs but does not force residents to pay this level of property taxes.

Tom Nicholson
Concerned Edmonds resident of 35 years

  1. As the parent of a student in the Edmonds School District, it is obvious that you do not have a child in the district. If you did, you’d know the district is a good steward of the people’s money, and that the district needs this money to educate students entering a technologically complex world.

    While you’re whining about paying taxes, Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and other local tech employers are whining that K-12 graduates don’t have the skills to take their jobs.

    I’d rather have jobs for our kids than lower taxes for you.

    1. A bit rude of you to say quit whining about taxes. You don’t have any idea if he has been paying school tax for 1 year or 50 or somewhere in between. I myself think seniors should be exempt from school tax. We have paid our share over the years and now it’s time for our children and grandchildren to pay for themselves.

      1. Sharon,
        I agree with you that seniors should not have to pay school taxes. I know seniors who had to sell their homes because the taxes were unaffordable. Let people who have children in school pay for it. Schools will only keep bleeding people to death with their endless cry for more money.

      2. Hi Sharon, while you make a good point. It takes much more effort at a state level to change this. Until then we need to support our schools. If you choose to take this issue on I would be glad o help. An interesting stat is that in voting for the edmonds school district levies and bonds the number one supporting demographic is our seniors. They have the highest percentage of voting yes than those who have children in school.

  2. Hi Tom,

    I understand your opinion. Here are some interesting facts that may go against what you are saying. The tax rate is projected for 2021 to be at the same levels as it is today. $3.69 per 1,000 assessed property value. With home construction on the rise in the Brier, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Edmonds areas this will most likely reduce the taxes.

    We have many aging buildings that are at substandard levels that need improvement. Everything from roof repairs to over crowding of classrooms which puts a burden on the teachers, staff, and more importantly the students. If we have crowding, the learning capacity is at a very low level. The capitol construction can only come from bonds. Crowding is based on population and in the past some schools have been closed but, this is always ebb and flow and hard to calculate far into the future. Money from levies and other budgets within the general fund cannot be transferred based on state law to rebuild or improve building structures.

    As for technology. It moves faster than we think. Our students can not afford to use old computers etc. and keep up with all the applications and learning tools for today and into the future. It’s like businesses, they use technology and budget for the future. This is the way budgeting is done in public schools. They are dependent on the public and those who benefit from good education.

  3. It would be a good thing to simply advise the tax payers on the expected financial outcome of this levy. Typically, public entities requesting increased tax or increase in the base of tax also provide expected changes in tax levels for the median valued home in the area. Even the detail of what will be done with the money is sorely missing. I am not sure I have ever voted no on a school levy request. But seven hundred million dollars over four years seems just a bit high.
    David Knowles, Edmonds

  4. The levy amount is excessive. If it fails, they will come back with something more reasonable. Then maybe I’ll support it.

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